Friday, February 3, 2017

Wonderful review of Mysteries of Mary

King of Vessels : The Marriage of Canaan

Arnell Ando wrote a wonderful review on The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck
on her website 
Arnell Ando' Art at

In previous posts I have written about the role that Arnell's work
has played in my life (we have never met, but who knows, that may change!)
Here is the link to my previous posts :

This is an extract of the review.  If you are interested you can read the entire
review here :

The Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck & Book 
Inner Mysteries of the Journey of the Soul as Portrayed by Mary
Created by: Hettienne Grobler
A Limited, Signed Edition
78 Card Deck & Book Set
Cards: Semi-Gloss, Sturdy 350 Gsm Stock, with Gold Edges & Rounded Corners
Each Image Created as an Individual Shrine
Card Dimensions: 5" L by 3.75" W, 12.7 by 9.5 Cm
Card Backs: Non-reversible Image, (Shown Below)
Accompanying Book: Soft-Cover, 160 Pages, Written by the Artist
Price: $75. + P&H
Self-Published in Cape Town, South Africa, 2016
Review by: Arnell Ando

I recently received a simply divine 78-card Tarot deck and book set from this gifted artist in Cape Town,  South Africa. I was immediately struck by the intricate, symbolic altars in the imagery, which she painstakingly created for each card with great purpose and attention to detail. Even a heathen like me could feel the 
artist's sincere devotion to the subject matter and her deep reverence for Mary. 
Every card depicts a small, hand-crafted, wooden shrine with a miniature diorama  dedicated to an archetype or an initiation into the Great Mystery, while revealing a vignette woven into this rich, meaningful tapestry dedicated to the sainted mother of Jesus.

The four suits of this deck correspond with the four elements and four cycles of Mary's life:  Virgin and Priestess is denoted by the suit of Vessels (Water, Cups); Beloved and Bride, is the suit of Holyrood (Fire, Wands); Mother and Sacred Woman is represented by the suit of Distaff (Air, Swords) and Wisdom is attributed to the suit of Roses (Earth, Pentacles).
The cards were professionally photographed and printed in a large format 

(5"L by 3.75"; W, 12.7 cm by 9.5 cm) on sturdy cardstock and would work nicely for readings or as one's daily card meditation (also serving to study her personal associations and interpretations). 

The 160 page, soft-cover book goes into great detail about each card, while sharing stories with historical and mythological context and analogies. Each limited edition set is signed by the artist and comes beautifully packaged, including a unique cloth pouch in the style of the deck, adorned with a St. Mary amulet and a rosary, for a distinctive and enticing presentation. Alternatively a version with a handcrafted box relating to the iconography of this deck may also be available upon request from the creator. And an expanded version of the guidebook became available in early 2017.

Hettienne Grobler believes Mary's long legacy is connected to the ancient Goddess culture and lore. She envisions Mary as the archetypal Divine Woman of our time as well as the bridge between the mortal and immortal feminine and the sacred heart of humanity, (in dire need of myths which can usher in an era of intuitive awareness, visionary creativity imagination, social justice and the healing of humanity, the earth and all her creatures!)

Ms. Grobler surmises that we currently recognize Mary as the Mother of Jesus, playing a small part in the story as told by Protestant Christianity or having a more significant role in the Roman Catholic tradition. However Mary is less known as a goddess in the feminine traditions and few would connect her with the great Mother Goddesses of distant past or as the Lady Sophia in the Wisdom traditions. But to the creator of this deck and others like her, there is an underlying red thread of connection. Since the ancient divine feminine became demonized many moons ago and her stories went underground, one must rely on myth, fairy and folk tales, oral traditions and subtle clues to uncover Her story.

 Grobler adds that if we dig deeper, we can discover that many of the titles belonging to Mary used to also be attributed to ancient goddesses in various cultures and traditions and that even the name 'Mary' has been known to signify a title, such as 'Priestess', beyond being used as a personal name. Ms. Grobler goes on to state that the history of both the power and eradication of the  Divine Feminine as an ideology have been suppressed and hidden by each subsequent ruling power throughout time, until she was at last removed from any meaningful role in religion and thereby relegated to only a minor part in the story. 

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